Religious Studies / Center for Religious Understanding
Varner Hall, Room 217
371 Varner Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4485
(map)
(248) 370-2154

Minors in Religious Studies

Oakland University offers minors in Islamic, Judaic, or Christian studies. Why should you consider a minor in any one of these areas? Religious thinking has greatly affected cultures and social formation around the globe. An understanding of religious thought and movements allows us to peer deeply into and more competently evaluate a society, major movements in history and complex moral and ethical problems. By enrolling in one of these minors you will be exposed to the rich cultural treasures that these faiths have traditionally offered and still offer today. You will learn about essential concepts that continue to drive religious expression and motivate their followers. You will learn to articulate essential human questions that affect us all.

Each of these minors will complement almost any other academic or vocational degree in which you are already enrolled. They will provide for you a rich basis in the humanities. Understanding religious thinking complements the ideas of science, the ethics of business, the task of holistic healing in medicine, the insights into psychology; above all, it makes you a better informed and well-rounded student of life. No matter what you are studying, you will gain greatly by enrolling in a minor in any of these religious traditions. Essential life questions, the meaning of existence, the awe of the natural order and the motivators of human culture are addressed in the courses offered. Your minor will complement and add meaning to your major: your studies prepare you for life’s great adventures. This acquired knowledge of faiths, beliefs and practices equip you to look at reality from a wider perspective while you work on your major academic specialty, enabling you to enter into the ongoing discussion about religious topics that inform the fundamental political, historical, ethical and cultural drivers of society.
Islamic
Studies

Developed to complement current minors in Christianity and Judaic studies, the Oakland University Islamic studies program fosters a richer understanding of Islamic history, heritage and religious tradition. The minor also complements and enhances studies in other academic areas, such as business, law, history and political science. The program focuses on the understanding of the impact of Islam on politics, culture and society.  For more information, contact Malik Balla (balla@oakland.edu), sub-director of Islamic Studies. 

The liberal arts minor in Islamic studies requires a minimum of 20 credits as described below.  At least 8 credits must be taken in Religious Studies courses at Oakland through the following requirements:

One of the following courses:

  • REL 1100 (Formerly REL 100) - Introduction to Religion
  • REL 1850 (Formerly REL 150) - World Religious Traditions

Required course:

  • REL 1150 (Formerly REL 101) - Introduction to Islam

One of the following courses:

  • REL 3100 (Formerly REL 321) - Islamic Ethics
  • REL 3130 (Formerly REL 331) - Islam in the Modern World
  • REL 3450 (Formerly REL 422) - Islam in America
  • or any REL 3900 (Formerly REL 300) special topics course in Islamic studies

One of the following field related courses:

  • AH   1003 (Formerly AH 104) - Introduction to Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • HST 3510 (Formerly HST 356) - The Modern Middle East
  • HST 3540 (Formerly HST 357) - The Arab-Israeli Conflict
  • IS    2700 (Formerly IS 270) - Perspectives on the Middle East
  • PHL  2210 (Formerly PHL 205) - Medieval Philosophy

One of the following applications:

  • ARB 1140 (Formerly ARB 114) - Introduction to Arabic Language and Culture
  • REL 4950 (Formerly REL 450)  - Religious Community Project Internship
  • REL 4920 (Formerly REL 490) - Directed Readings in Religious Studies
  • or approved study abroad in Muslim-majority society

A four-credit internship also is a curriculum requirement, which can be satisfied by service at such institutions as an Islamic bank or social service organization, to name a few. 

Click here to be taken to the 2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog page. 

  
Judaic
Studies

The Judaic studies program at Oakland University offers you the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the multi-faceted, interesting and unique religion and culture of the Jewish people. We offer a wide variety of classes on Jewish beliefs and values; history; literature; film; archaeology; and Hebrew. 

Whether you are taking courses for interest, to fulfill a general education requirement, or adopting the minor, our classes offer you the unique opportunity to broaden your perspective and increase your understanding of the world in which you live. Moreover, given our increasingly globalized world, understanding different cultures and world-views like Judaism is a great asset for success. Whether you are going into business, education, or health care, you will have to work with and provide service for people from many different backgrounds. The addition of a Judaic studies minor can enhance your resume and open doors for employment; adopting a minor in Judaic studies is a great compliment to many other majors including business and education.

A minor in Judaic studies can be obtained by taking 20 credits, or five classes. In addition to the many interesting classes you can take to fulfill the minor, we offer opportunities for community internships and travel to Israel. For more information, contact Michael Pytlik (pytlik@oakland.edu), sub-director of Judaic Studies.

The liberal arts minor in Judaic studies requires a minimum of 20 credits as described below. At least 8 credits must be taken in religious studies courses at Oakland. 


One of the following courses: 

  • REL 1100 (Formerly REL 100) - Introduction to Religion
  • REL 1850 (Formerly REL 150) - World Religious Traditions
Required course:
  • REL 1200 (Formerly REL 102) - Introduction to Judaism

Two of the following core courses:

  • PHL 2210 (Formerly PHL 205) - Medieval Philosophy
  • REL 3420 (Formerly REL 307) - Jewish History
  • REL 3700 (Formerly REL 317) - The Book of Genesis
  • REL 3710 (Formerly REL 318) - Written Traditions of Judaism
  • REL 3720 (Formerly REL 319) - Concepts of God and Man in Judaism
  • REL 3740 (Formerly REL 353) - The Bible as Literature or ENG 3650 (Formerly ENG 305) (same name)
  • REL 3430 (Formerly REL 420) - The Jewish Experience in American Life
  • REL 3440 (Formerly REL 421) - The Holocaust
  • or any REL 3900 (Formerly REL 300) special topics course in Judaic studies

One of the following applications:

  • Hebrew language course
  • REL 4950 (Formerly REL 450) - Religious Community Project Internship
  • REL 4920 (Formerly REL 490) - Approved Directed Readings in Religious Studies
  • Approved study abroad in Israel

 Click here to be taken to the 2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog page.

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SIIS Webinars

The set of webinars listed below are made available to the Judaic Studies Program at Oakland University thanks to the generosity of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies at Brandies University.

 

"Jewish Religious Pluralism in Israel: History, Issues and Prospects"

by David Ellenson, acting director of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies and visiting professor of Near Eastern & Judaic Studies, Brandeis University

URL link to link to webinar.

 

"Israeli Society in the 21st Century: Immigration, Inequality and Religious Conflict"

by Calvin Goldscheider, professor emeritus of sociology, Brown University

URL link to webinar.

 

"Religion and Society in Israel: Zionism and the Struggle for Modernity"

by Yehudah Mirsky, associate professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, Brandeis University

URL link to webinar.

 

"Exploring Contemporary Protestant Perceptions and Relations Towards Israel: An Historical Survey"

by Yaakov Ariel, professor of religious studies, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

URL link to webinar.

 

"Perspectives on November 29, 1947: The UN and the Two-State Solution for Palestine"

by Ilan Troen, Stoll Family Professor of Israel Studies, Brandeis University; Uri Bialer, Hexter Chair in International Relations at Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Khalil Shikaki, Senior Fellow, Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University

URL link to webinar.

 

"Israel: A History - Pedagogy" 

by Anita Shapira, professor emerita in Jewish History, Tel Aviv University

URL link to webinar.

 

Christianity
Studies
The minor in Christianity Studies is designed to explore the history and thought of the Christian experience set in the context of world history and cultures.  It is taught from a non-sectarian perspective and serves to provide a deeper understanding of many of the important values that underlie broader American and Western values.  Taught in collaboration with minors in Judaic and Islamic studies, courses highlight similarities and shared vision with them, as well as the distinctive approach to broad concerns of the human spirit that Christianity offers.  The minor provides the student with a solid background for a wide spectrum of professional endeavor in contemporary American life that must necessarily engage the realities of an increasingly diverse public.  For more information, contact Charles Mabee (mabee@oakland.edu), sub-director of Christianity Studies.

The liberal arts minor in Christianity studies requires a minimum of 20 credits as described below.  At least 8 credits must be taken in religious studies courses at Oakland.

One of the following courses:
  • REL 1100 (Formerly REL 100) - Introduction to Religion
  • REL 1850 (Formerly REL 150) - World Religious Traditions

Required course:

  • REL 1250 (Formerly REL 103) - Introduction to Christianity

Two of the following core courses:
  • AH  3220 (Formerly AH 322) - Early Medieval, Byzantine, and Romanesque Art
  • AH  3230 (Formerly AH 326) - Gothic Art
  • HST 3340 (Formerly HST 326) - The Italian Renaissance
  • HST 3345 (Formerly HST 327) - The Reformation
  • PHL 2210 (Formerly PHL 205) - Medieval Philosophy
  • REL 3110 (Formerly REL 323) - Christian Ethics
  • REL 3730 (Formerly REL 349) - Early Christian Spirituality
  • REL 3740 (Formerly REL 353) - The Bible as Literature or ENG 3650 (Formerly ENG 305) (same name)
  • or any special topics course in Christianity studies offered under REL 3900 (Formerly REL 300)

One of the following applications:
  • REL 4950 (Formerly REL 450) - Religious Community Project Internship
  • REL 4920 (Formerly REL 490) - Directed Readings in Religious Studies
Click  here to be taken to the 2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog page.